A sexy contractor soon has Alice flustered and in a tizzy. When her BFF and partner in their landscaping business, Lynn, makes her move for the man, Alice is torn. She’s using to stepping back and letting Lynn charm the guys. This time Alice doesn’t want to. Will the battle for Troy’s attention come between the two friends? Which one, if either, will end up in his arms?
This short romance from Chrys N. Jay takes you to the worksite, where the handsome renovator aims to flip more than houses.
Here’s an excerpt from Alice’s Desire:
Somehow we made it through the particulars that needed discussed. Every now and then I’d catch a puzzled glance from one of the workers, as they stood there, patiently waiting for an answer from their boss. I barely noticed he hammering and sawing around us that created its own unique symphony.
I almost couldn’t take my eyes off him. I’d tear them away to look at the sheets in front of me, numbers and dates and details of the landscaping we’d be doing here. Then I’d glance back up and be swimming in those large azure pools of dreaminess.
I caught him once, glancing at my ring finger. Laughter bubbled up in my throat. I’d already done the surreptitious glance at his hand, looking for the telltale ring or pale mark of a missing one.
Life was perfect. The meeting was progressing smoothly. The client was divine. Until we got to the installation schedule and it all came to a screeching halt.
“Two weeks? I can’t wait two weeks. There’s an open house scheduled in a week.” The grim look on his face wasn’t one that I’d be dreaming about that night, that’s for sure. His jaw was clenched and I swear, I thought I saw a vein starting to throb at his temple.
“This is the schedule Lynn had in the folder.”
“She told me you could install this weekend. My guys will be finished Friday. I have a tight turnaround time on this one.”
I rifled through the folder, checking to see if there was another schedule I’d missed. “I’m sorry. Our guys are all booked on other projects. I can’t pull them off the city job to do this one. I’d lose my shirt on penalties.”
He looked up from the papers and his face softened. “Now that I’d like to see.”
“What? Us losing money?”
“No. You losing your shirt.”
It took a minute for his meaning to sink in. I think I turned as red as the geraniums we proposed for the front planter.
“Sorry,” he mumbled. “That slipped out. Not very businesslike, I’m afraid.”
At least it broke his bad mood and got us back to business.
Besides, I couldn’t get too upset. Not after the thoughts that had been running through my own head. They involved him losing a lot more than just his shirt. I’d already been imagining those broad shoulders bare, his muscular forearms wrapped around me, his rugged jaw lowering itself to me, kissing me … No. I couldn’t play the prim and proper offended woman.
He ran a hand over his jaw, deep in thought. Right where I’d like to be, my fingers stroking his chin … Oh, for land sake, Alice Jackson, will you get your mind out of the bedroom for one cotton picking minute!
“Your guys work weekends?”
“Not for straight time they don’t.”
“Would they be willing if I increased the labor charges by fifty percent?”
“Not everyone. Some are pretty firm about keeping their weekends off. But I think I could come up with enough. Three guys working Saturday and Sunday should get everything installed.”
A thought crossed my mind. “As long as I can move the delivery date up to Friday and all the plants are available. Although, as long as most of the product is her by Friday, if there’s a few we can’t get, we’ll work those in during the next week.”
“Sounds like a plan to me. With a few strings attached, though.”
“What kind of strings?” That phrase didn’t bode well for A & L’s Landscaping, I was sure.
“I’ll increase the labor costs to accommodate overtime. You get three men here over the weekend. But I want you here with them, supervising.”
“Uh, I don’t usually supervise. Our foreman is one of the best and he handles that.”
“Well, then don’t call it supervising. Call it, oh hell, I don’t care what you call it. I just want you here both days with the crew. Or no deal.”
It seemed like such an odd request from him. But, hey, what else did I have going on over the weekend? Other than taking work home, like I usually did.
“One more thing,” he added in. “When we’re done Sunday afternoon, you and I go to the little Mexican place up the street for dinner and margaritas.”
“I don’t usually …”
“Dinner, too. Or no deal.”
“All righty then, I guess dinner is on the schedule too.” I couldn’t help but throw in, “But you’re buying.”
His laughter was like a balm around me, soothing and calming, yet sending delightful shivers up my spine.
This was going to be one interesting weekend.
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